What are Virtual and Remote Laboratories?

Virtual and remote laboratories reflect a movement among education institutions to make the equipment and elements of a physical science laboratory more easily available to learners from any location, via the web. Virtual laboratories are web applications that emulate the operation of real laboratories and enable students to practice in a “safe” environment before using real, physical components. Students can typically access virtual labs 24/7, from wherever they are, and run the same experiments over and over again. Some emerging virtual lab platforms also incorporate reporting templates that populate with the results of the experiments so that students and teachers can easily review the outcomes. Remote laboratories, on the other hand, provide a virtual interface to a real, physical laboratory. Institutions that do not have access to high-caliber lab equipment can run experiments and perform lab work online, accessing the tools from a central location. Users are able to manipulate the equipment and watch the activities unfold via a webcam on a computer or mobile device. This provides students with a realistic view of system behavior and allows them access to professional laboratory tools from anywhere, whenever they need. Additionally, remote labs alleviate some financial burden for institutions as they can forgo purchasing specific equipment and use the remote tools that are at their disposal.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

  • The cost savings of not having to purchase the equipment can be dedicated to upping the network bandwidth for better student access to the labs.- kathyschrock kathyschrock Jan 30, 2015
  • Not only reducing the cost of procurement of equipment also allows collaboration and experience exchange. - nada4web nada4web Feb 14, 2015

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • It would be great to see does usage of virtual lab gives the same outcomes as usage of real or remote labs. - nada4web nada4web Feb 14, 2015
  • add your response here

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on teaching, learning, or creative inquiry?

  • As more of the virtual labs with controllable equipment become available to students, they will have real experience in doing research. I am predicting that students will be hired or have internships to conduct experiments and collect data for companies. This will give them actual experience and allow them to pursue a career path that they may become passionate about.- kathyschrock kathyschrock Jan 30, 2015- jmorrison jmorrison Feb 18, 2015
  • add your response here

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

Fizzle or Sizzle: Virtual Worlds in Education
https://www.iste.org/resources/product?id=3608- jmorrison jmorrison Feb 19, 2015
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